It is no longer enough to produce a dedicated navigation system that can get you from A to B by shouting “at the next junction, turn left” and similar phrases. Navigation systems have to do a lot more than that these days to warrant a second glance from prospective purchasers.
So along comes Mio’s C710, a navigation system that can also play music (MP3 only), view photos (JPEG only), act as a calculator and currency converter, synchronise your contacts with Outlook and, thanks to Bluetooth, double as a hands-free kit.
Mio even provides a cycle mount and belt-clip style carrying case along with a standard vehicle mounting system, just in case you want to use the C710 for cycling or walking as well as in a vehicle.
It sits fairly neatly on cycle handlebars, being relatively small at 110mm x 70mm x 20mm and not too heavy at 170g. Its internal battery will, says Mio, keep it going with its screen active for four and a half hours away from power, and it comes with a mains power cable.
Be warned, though, that like other navigation systems, the Mio C710 does not know about cycle routes, cycle tracks and so on, so it won’t always navigate you round a preferred route.
For the money, the Mio C710′s built-in maps of 24 European countries and free live traffic information (delivered via an FM antenna), are great news. I used the C710 in the UK and during a trip to Brittany, and it got me around both places perfectly well.
Full, seven-digit postcode navigation in the UK is a great asset, the spoken instructions are loud and clear, and automatic re-routing around traffic problems is, once you’ve used it, something you’ll never want to be without.
The Mio C710 remembers old trips so it is easy to revisit somewhere you’ve been before just by choosing the destination from a list, and you can set up Home and Work as pre-sets, all of which helps make using the C710 a breeze once you’ve been working with it for a while.
On the other hand, I found the screen at times a bit cluttered: it certainly isn’t as clear as the wide screens that some other navigation devices incorporate. I also found that sometimes it was a bit slow to keep up. It was a little behind me on roundabouts, for example, which might be disconcerting to some.
And it may take a while to get used to finding all the various menu options in Mio’s MioMap software. There are plenty of them, but they can be a bit hidden a few menu layers down.
Contact: 0905 464 0010